Product Type: Lindt Chocolate Chocolate
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Quality Chocolate - But Can You Live With The Cost?
Lindt Lindor Egg
Member Name: Hishyeness
Lindt Lindor Egg
Advantages: Quality chocolate. Well balanced flavours. Rich but not too sweet.
Disadvantages: Expensive - in both calories and cost. Not fair trade chocolate.
THE POWER OF SUGGESTION
It has never really occurred to me to buy a product just so I could review it. However, I found myself milling around Waterloo Station on Wednesday night feeling a bit peckish. I was flush from the excitement of the Arsenal v Barcelona game and getting bored waiting for the next South West Trains service home, so I wandered into the Whistlestop store and my eyes alighted on the display of Lindt Lindor Eggs. Immediately, the little devil on my left shoulder started whispering conspiratorially in my ear, while the angel on my right struggled to get a look in.
When I indulge, I'm usually a confirmed Cadbury Creme Egg man, but impressionable fellow that I am (especially when it comes to chocolate) the idea of buying a Lindt Lindor egg - solely for the "scientific" purposes of a review - was proving difficult to resist. So I stood there for a moment, pondering whether to take the plunge, and consciously contemplating whether the subsequent heavyweight hit to my calorie-consumption for the day could really be justified by the few pennies I could earn by reviewing these little babies on this site (c'mon - at least SOME of you think like that!).
In the end, my resistance crumbled, I succumbed, and ended up buying one for immediate eating and one for later. I don't think I have ever been so ashamed of myself - I really should know better than to let the little matter of a review inform my eating habits, but having taken the decision, I was determined to make the most of it - as it happens, I don't think I have ever consumed a piece of confectionary quite so critically before.
A BIT ABOUT LINDT
I am much more familiar with Lindt's other excellent chocolate products. The gold wrapped Lindt bunnies with the red ribbon and little golden bell are one of my daughter's favourite Easter confections, and we indulge - every now and again - in some of the fine chocolate bars that they consistently produce (the Intense range, which includes orange and chilli flavours, is especially enticing).
Lindt (short for Lindt & Sprungli) were founded as a family business in Zurich 1845 and have been making quality Swiss chocolate ever since. Fortunately, despite its growth over the years into a major producer of consumer chocolate across the world, the company has stayed true to its roots and has so far managed to sustain their trademark quality, whilst fighting off the predatory attentions of such multi0national global concerns like Nestle and Cadbury.
A BIT ABOUT THEIR CHOCOLATE
As consumers, I like to think that we are all becoming a little more socially responsible and expecting a higher standard of ethical behaviour from the manufacturers of the products we buy. I have particularly enjoyed recent reviews that have taken the time and effort to research this aspect of a product, so why should chocolate be any different?
Investigations carried out in the last six or seven years have uncovered some fairly unsavoury practices in the sourcing of cocoa beans by the chocolate industry, including the use by cocoa suppliers of child labour and trafficked children to harvest crops from cocoa plantations, especially in West Africa, where the trade is centred around Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso (An exposť which aired last week on BBC's Panorama - "Chocolate: The Bitter Truth" - is a great example for anyone that's interested - see http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm for more info)
As a majority of the cocoa beans used in Lindt's consumer brands come from Ghana, I was very keen to learn more about their policy on ethical and sustainable sourcing. To their credit, there is a large section of their web-site (www.lindt.com) dedicated to the traceability of crops, their supplier code of conduct and the social programmes the company invest in to return some of their profit to their growers.
That said, corporate web-sites will only show you what the company want you to see, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, on a more positive note, independent third party research (for instance, see www.ethicalconsumer.org) has confirmed that of the bigger brands, Lindt are one of the better behaved companies in the industry, readily cooperating with requests for information on their cocoa supply and generally being decent corporate citizens (with one eye still firmly on profit of course - it is a business after all).
GETTING DOWN TO THE EGG
The egg is an "Easter-ised" version of the existing Lindor product, which is usually sold in a cardboard box as individually wrapped truffle balls. For those who want something more bite-sized, it is also available in a smaller sized mini-eggs, packaged in 160g "pouches" or 250g bags. The egg, which is wrapped in predominantly red, white and gold foil, is pointier than a Creme Egg and slightly more elegant looking. When you unwrap it, you will see a seam running vertically down the centreline.
This is where the two halves of the egg are lightly melted together leaving a small gap in between, so if at all possible, you should try and separate the two sides before taking a bite (a tap on a hard surface normally does the rick) otherwise, the egg is likely to disintegrate into its two parts, causing a mad scramble to recover bits of chocolate and your dignity all at the same time (especially if, like me, you're trying to eat it on a crowded train).
The first thing that hits you is the subtle smell - which is best described as cocoa with a subtle hint of sugar. First taste impressions are good - you get a nice hit of milky, smooth cocoa from the outer chocolate shell, before your taste buds are saturated and almost overwhelmed by the nutty, truffle filling. The truffle has an odd "freshness" to it which leaves you with a slightly odd "cooling" sensation as it melts away to nothingness in the mouth.
The end result is a silky, slightly decadent experience that is delicate rather than overpowering, with just the right hint of sweetness. It would be unfair to draw any comparison with Cadbury's product, which uses a fondant centre instead of truffle, as the only similarity between them is the shape of the confectionery.
The Lindt Lindor Egg weighs in at a svelte 28g, over ten grams lighter than its 39g competition from Cadbury, but comes in at 178 calories (125 of which come from fat!), which is actually 5 calories more than the bigger Creme Egg. There is precious little information on the foil wrapper about cocoa content, but on the basis that the greatest ingredients are listed first, they are a little eyebrow raising to read - sugar, vegetable fat, cocoa butter and cocoa mass - in that order.
There is no animal gelatine or artificial colouring used in the product, so it is suitable for vegetarian consumption. The Lindt egg, as befits its higher quality, is also much more expensive. Allowing for the fact that I bought mine at 65p at over-inflated railway station prices, you can expect to pay between 50p to 60p at your local supermarket or newsagent. You certainly get your fill of calories for your money.
I rather enjoyed my dalliance with the Lindor egg, but given my commitment to losing more weight, am unlikely to indulge very often. It certainly left me wanting more, and it took a monumental exercise of will power to save the second egg for later - I could easily have scoffed two or three in one sitting.
There is also the satisfaction that Lindt are prepared to do more than most of their peers to ensure the integrity of their cocoa supply. Overall, the Lindor Egg delivered the quality I expected from the Lindt brand and I am happy to have tried it, even if it was for ever so slightly mercenary purposes!
Happy Easter to all, and to those who celebrate the resurrection, rejoice, for Christ is risen - He is risen indeed 8^)
© Hishyeness 2010
Summary: A lovely Easter treat